Sunday, March 18, 2012

More of Thailand

This is "walking street" on Sunday in Chiang Mai.  It is 6:00 PM.  Every day at 8 AM and 6 PM everything stops for the national anthem and tribute to the king played over loudspeakers.  Thais are very respectful of their king and it is an egregious infraction to speak or write anything negative about the royal family.  Every Sunday the central street in the old town is transformed into one never-ending market.
This is what "walking street" looks like early in the early evening and goes on all night.  When you've tired of standing, walking and dodging people you can just stop at a street massage chair, pay your $6.00 and get your half-hour foot and leg massage or pay $10 for a full hour.
There is a town near Chiang Mai that is famous for umbrella making.  Besides large showrooms there are several workshops out back where you are free to wander around and watch the process of how they are made. The all bamboo and paper umbrellas are painted and decorated in each workshop's standard designs.  Paper ones are used as sun protection, but they also use some kind of varnish to waterproof the ones made for rain.  I had one made special-order for our department at the university where I work in our colors and with our department name on it for about $15

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